In recent years, AAU constituent group conversations on the importance of PhD program and career outcome data transparency became increasingly elevated. These conversations signaled to AAU that an association-led initiative engaging multiple institutional leadership roles was needed for systemic change to make PhD program and career outcomes data more widely available.
Spring 2018 PhD Program and Career Outcome Data Transparency Workshop
On May 31 and June 1, 2018, AAU convened a PhD Program and Career Outcome Data Transparency workshop supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The workshop engaged representatives from institutional, multi-institutional projects and projects led by disciplinary professional societies that are working to document PhD career pathways. The workshop design allowed for the community to identify critical next steps for data transparency in PhD career outcome efforts, as well as identify areas for collaboration, potential synergies and greater alignment between projects. A key outcome of the workshop was the development of two summary matrix documents to map information about the numerous institutional and multi-institutional PhD program and career outcome data efforts, and a compilation of short descriptions of multi-institutional efforts created by project leadership.
Fall 2017 AAU CAO Statement on Doctoral Education Data Transparency
On September 12, 2017, a statement on doctoral education data transparency was endorsed by the AAU Chief Academic Officers (CAOs), a group consisting of the provosts of AAU members universities. This statement built upon a session on graduate education and subsequent conversations that began the prior year at the 2016 AAU CAO meeting, and at the 2016 AAU Association of Graduate Schools (AGS) Deans meeting, which included a presentation titled “Making PhD Data Public.”
2014-2015 AAU Constituency Conversations
In 2014, AAU hosted a workshop led by a university president and consisting of provosts, graduate deans, vice presidents for research and institutional research officers to discuss issues facing graduate education and identify priorities and actionable activities for the association. Following this workshop, a summary paper was prepared, and a plenary session titled, “Crafting an AAU Agenda for Doctoral Education,” was held at the AAU Presidents and Chancellors meeting in April 2015. The perspective of the AAU Presidents and Chancellors was presented at the September 2015 AAU Association of Graduate School Deans meeting as part of a session titled, “The Big Picture: An AAU Agenda for Doctoral Education.” A common theme across these conversations was the need for program- and institutional-level metrics and student outcome data.